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Looking Back: Fantastic Fungal Papers Published in 2014

Jan 28

Written by: SuperUser Account
1/28/2015 1:03 PM 

With 2014 in the books, and 2015 well underway, now is a great time to look back at some of the interesting mycology papers published in the past year!  Fungi are an incredibly diverse group of organisms. Check out this study looking at the impacts of different ecosystem parameters on fungal species richness, community composition and biogeography from soil samples on a global scale: Tedersoo et al. 2014. Global diversity and geography of soil fungi. Science. 346(6213). It's typically assumed that ectomycorrhizal symbioses are always beneficial for plant growth. This paper gives a different take on mycorrhizal establishments in boreal forests and the market mechanisms that govern them, providing insight into why we may see inconsistencies in plant benefits from these plant-microbe interactions: Franklin et al. 2014. Forests trapped in nitrogen limitation - an ecological market perspective on ectomycorrhizal symbiosis. New Phytologist. 203(2): 657-666. We've all heard about "zombie ants", but check out this paper on the stink bug, Edessa rufomarginata, which, when infected with the fungus Purpureocillium cf. lilacinum, also exhibits "zombie-like" behavior: Eberhard et al. 2014. Zombie bugs? The fungus 'Purpureocillium cf. lilacinum' may manipulate the behavior of its host bug 'Edessa rufomarginata'. Mycologia. 106(6): 1065-1072. Opportunistic fungal infections in animals are increasingly becoming a threat to worldwide biodiversity. This paper presents a concerning finding of two Fusarium species causing mass mortalities of eggs in sea turtle nests worldwide: Sarmiento-Ramírez et al. 2014. Global distribution of two fungal pathogens threatening endangered sea turtles. PLOSone. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085853.

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